Reviews for The Tutor
Angel-Leigh Jones chapter 1 . 3/7/2010
hiya

this story is like a peek into a world we don't get to see. I've only ever seen a prison from off TV and that is down played alot. I loved reading this - every second. I couldn't look away.

The words and sentences are powerful and well written. And the story makes you want to read more.

With the characters, you get a strong sense with Donald and where with Malik there isn't much written about him well not till the middle and end and yet its like he's been there the whole way through.

Very powerful piece.

Thank you for writing it and putting it up on here.

Angel
fatbird33 chapter 1 . 1/14/2010
i just read your profile and was really inspired. i think it's great that you're writing.

and your writing was so pure and honest. i loved the opening:)
ephemeral dance chapter 1 . 1/5/2010
This was definitely a different read for me, considering that I mostly stick to pretentious teenagers and obscene comedies.

But yeah, this is an incredibly well-written piece- really raw, vivid, believable, emotional. I felt so sorry for Malik and couldn't bring myself to blame him for what he had done at all, honestly.

Amazing characterization, too. Donald was a wonderful narrator; an understanding person, a man of God, a kind man with a sense of humor.

Ah, this was just so great! One of the best pieces I have read on Fictionpress. Thank you so much for sharing this story with everyone! It's a real treat! :3
RetardedChicken chapter 1 . 1/5/2010
Wow, you're a really really good writer. This is really well written and I love the way you use slang to make it more realistic. Works perfectly! GREAT WORK :)
Dreamers-Requiem chapter 1 . 1/5/2010
I really liked this, and I think the characters in it are great. They were believable, especially with the slang, and you've managed to convey the emotions really well - I felt really happy for Malik when he managed to get out! It'd be interesting to see more of this character, and you leave the reader with the feeling that he kind of has more to say. Again, great story.

-From the Roadhouse
S. M. Saves chapter 1 . 1/3/2010
This is probably the most mature, down-to-earth story I have read on Fictionpress. It was so polished from beginning to end, I had a hard time prying my eyes away from it.

The realism was clear. It was so easy to imagine what everyone looked like, how they would behave (especially in the classroom 2 scene when they were about to go off on Donald). Donald was a great guide and narrator for this story. He gave the reader the grand tour of things and showed him/her another way of life that many people probably don't concern themselves with.

I felt a twinge of sadness when Malik was paroled because it leaves Donald with one less friend. A bittersweet ending with a bit of humor.

"Yeah, he’s gone and I gave him your family’s address as a going away present.": Fantastic last line.

Thank you for the excellent read!

S. M. Saves
Experiment101 chapter 1 . 1/1/2010
Wow I really loved your writing style, and all the descriptions. Amahzing great work! -
Lea Ai chapter 1 . 1/1/2010
This is a wonderful story! So full of emotion. As a mom, I absolutely hated Malik's story-it made me want to exact the same sort of revenge as he did-Ugh! I'm still angry about it. I loved the ending-just perfect! Keep up the good work! :-D
A. Clark chapter 1 . 12/31/2009
Found this in the Review Game, and wow, I hadn't expected a prison to be the setting at all.

VERY good read; the last line had me laughing.

Your use of metaphors is superb and clever, with very interesting and funny digressions.

The whole story is succinct and very strong; I was hooked right from the beginning.

I think what I enjoyed most about this was the offbeat humor behind the story, despite serious scenes. The whole story flowed nicely; a good combination of proper but casual wording.

I'm trying to find something to be a little constructive about, but I just enjoyed the whole thing.

Good luck on publishing a compilation! I'd certainly be interested in picking one up.
soojinyeh chapter 1 . 12/31/2009
Somehow the opening really caught my interest and drew me in. He's just sitting there thinking about pictures, but it made me wonder why and what it has to do with the story. And then when you realize what it's about, it suddenly makes sense as to why he's looking at pictures of his old life.

The characterization in this is diverse and realistic enough at the same time. I keep thinking about Yata Man and why he's called that, and I am wondering about why the tutor is in there. I guess I'll find out as I go along. The tutor needs to be more resourceful, though. Back when I was institutionalized, I'd use whatever I could get my hands on as a weapon, including pens which you can stab someone in the eyeball with. He needs to watch out for his life. And Malik's story...ah, that's why I can't commit to monogamy.

The writing is not too wordy which I like (personally I hate wordiness and prose), and it's fast moving enough to catch my interest. It doesn't feel forced and at times is very refreshing, especially the "to seek a more upstanding manhood (no puns please)." It made me laugh.

I love the idea of this, and the description of life I can definitely relate to. I am wondering if you had been in jail once yourself, or you just did some pretty good research. I have spent some time in institutions and hospitals, and some girls were there to serve some sort of probation-and their stories match what is being described here. This is definitely not the kind of thing you usually find on fiction websites, for it takes a certain amount of actual living and understanding.
sophiesix chapter 1 . 12/31/2009
Your writing style, your descriptions are as thick and rich as treacle, I loved it. It does make for a slower pace, but to me that reflects perfectly the dragging time inside prison, as well as provide a great springboard for the moments loaded with tension.

The plot, characters and their relationships are darn powerful, and the combinations of these kept me hooked throughout.

In a couple of places your writing could be made even more powerful by polishing it a little more. For instance. “He wouldn’t be in until I was dead!” I think it’s a more powerful sentence without the exclamation mark. Likewise, “All of a sudden the classroom door opened”, consider having just “The classroom door opened.” Or maybe having a then to start it off: the shortness of it packs a punch, to me.

“Something was welling up, crawling darkly and sinisterly” consider ‘crawling dark and sinister’? It might not be grammatically perfect but I find the ‘ly’s’ distracting somehow.

The opening I found the perfect introduction to the setting, showing both the prevailing situation for the guys living there as well as painting out our main character in the some of the ways he is distinct. The mix/contrast of longing for a family perpetual out of reach and the longing for the touch of flesh I found really strong.

The ending tied things together nicely, but though you’ve got all the bones of a good ending there, I felt it was a little rushed – not so much that Death Row was leaving in so much of a hurry, but I wanted the GED thing fleshed out a little more, I dunno, another sentence or two to really bring it home.

Looking forward to more of this!
centuriespast chapter 1 . 12/31/2009
whaddya going to do with the bat, Dada?"

I think you meant for him to stutter? if so, you have to have -s between Ws :)

I really like the setting; never read a story about prison life before -lol- The nicknames are pretty kewl, too.

And putting short stories together seems like a really good idea :D I'd do it, if I were you! Keep up the good work!

-Centuriespast
The Saturday Storytellers chapter 1 . 12/31/2009
Very descriptive beginning - gets right into the emotions and realities of the story. Bittersweet. Well-chosen, I think.

I am finding, however, that the backstory or the character's situation is running a bit long, though. Some evocative stuff is fine, but I've only just started reading this story and it looks more like the memoirs of a prisoner than an actual, active/current story. Perhaps I'm being narrow in my taste for stories, but I'd rather have some kind of drama going on.

Yeah, reading on, you've got a major infodump going on here. You need to give exposition like this more sparingly, in my opinion.

It seems that we now get some drama with the Muslim man, but I think you need to signify that the drama is just beginning. After all that exposition I think you could use a scene break. It should serve to refresh your reader a little - make them blink and sit upright again.

Well, it's all atmospheric, no doubt about that. You just need to break up the exposition a little.

You tell us the story of Malik, all of which is very dramatic and brooding, but I think you might do well to present it a little differently. It's all spoken as being in the past, so some of the immediacy you could invest this story in is gone.

You've got a good, unhurried approach to writing and that's a big strength. You're well on your way to being a good writer already!

- Pay back via Shamanics, chapter 2.

- From the Roadhouse.